Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reproductive Lesson

Hello everyone! In case you haven't heard, there are some politicians who support an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that says life begins at conception. Mitt Romney went on Mike Huckabee's show and stated that he supports it. He also said it at an Iowa town hall meeting when asked about birth control. Obviously, he was mistaken as to how babies are made. That's why I'm writing this post, so that I can inform the uninformed!

First of all, both a sperm and an egg are already alive. To rephrase, they are already living cells. When they come together, this is called conception, they join to form a fertilized egg or zygote. They do not create new life, they become something else that is also living.

The zygote (pictured) then travels down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus. While the zygote is traveling, it divides into different cells. Once the zygote starts dividing, it is called an embryo.

When the embryo reaches the uterus, it implants in the uterine wall and starts to divide more rapidly.
Approximately 60% of embryos do not implant, and are flushed out during a woman's menstrual cycle.
When an embryo fails to reach the uterus but implants somewhere else, this is called an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies almost never get carried to full term because they are seriously dangerous to the mother's health.

Hormonal birth control works in several different ways. First, birth control can stop the production of eggs by a woman. Second, if that doesn't happen, the birth control thickens the mucus membrane around the cervix to make it difficult for the sperm to reach an egg. Third, if none of that works, the hormones from the pill/patch/IUD/ring/shot prohibit the embryo from implanting in the uterus, thereby not allowing the embryo to grow into a baby.

The reason that we need to know these things is because of what is going on in the government right now. An amendment that states that life begins at conception would outlaw all forms of hormonal birth control, which 98% of sexually active women have used or are using for one reason or another that don't necessarily have to do with not getting pregnant.

Making a fertilized egg a person, which is what Mitt Romney and other politicians want to do, will outlaw this birth control. This will force women who don't want children to remain celibate or use condoms. Not that either of these are horrible things, condoms are effective in preventing pregnancy 98% of the time when used correctly and they are the only form of contraception to prevent STDs. Celibacy is great if you wish to remain abstinent until marriage or just don't want to have sex. However, I think that women would like to have some form of input as to what they do with their bodies.

A NOW intern

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love Your Body

Wednesday was Love Your Body Day. It is very difficult for people to learn to love their bodies because we are told from birth that we could be perfect "...if you just fixed that one thing..."
I didn't learn to love my body until I realized I was a feminist. I asked myself who I was trying to be perfect for and I realized that it wasn't me. From that moment, I loved everything about me. I love the curve of my hips, the shape of my face, even things that people think are strange, like my wrists (which happen to be the boniest part of my body).
My body has played a huge part in shaping who I am as a person. Every part of my body connects me to one of my relatives. I have my dad's nose and eyes, my great grandmother's torso, my mom's hair. Everyone's body connects them to their past. Every body tells a story. It's hard to remember that sometimes.

What does your body say about you?


This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Carnival

Image from PostSecret

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lady Popular

Alright, so you have probably guessed by now that one of the new interns is a huge nerd. I admit it. I (Kari) am. So imagine my surprise when I see a link on one of my favourite blogs that says "Finally, a video game for girls!"
Now I like video games. I'm more of an old school gamer, myself. I enjoy a rousing game of Sonic and Knuckles on my Sega Genesis. I'm not that into the new style (Wii) games. They are fun, mainly for shooting style games.
So, anyway, I clicked on this link and it took me to "Lady Popular." Feeling a bit adventurous, I clicked and played a few levels. It turns out that to level up, all you have to do is buy stuff and go to the club and join a gym. You aren't really playing a game, you are living a virtual life of things that you could do during the day. It's actually really boring stuff.
So I guess my question is this: Why does this insinuate that other video games are not for girls? I'm a girl (or woman, but I was a girl when I started playing video games), and I enjoy House of the Dead and Super Mario Brothers. Why are women given the worst roles/games/characters when it comes to animated computer games?

A NOW intern

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank You for Being a Friend to Women, Betty!

We forget that we are submerged in sexist language that is just part of every day life.
"Hey, guys!"
"Old boys club."
"Grow some balls!"
If you're in college, like I am, these types of thing get spouted off a lot.

Well, Betty White (allegedly) brought attention to this in what is sure to be a widespread internet meme.

Thank you, Betty.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week

Since Banned Books Week (one of my favourite weeks of the year) is wrapping up, I thought I may do a post on a banned author.
Judy Blume is the second most banned author in America (next to Stephen King). Her books have helped countless young people get through some very difficult times in their lives. From 1990 to 1999, five of her books were among those most challenged in schools and public libraries.

Other banned female authors include:
J.K. Rowling
Meg Cabot
Stephanie Myer
Ellen Hopkins
Lauren Myracle
and countless others.

Any time any author or book is banned, it's because they write something that makes people think. There are certain people in this country that don't like it when people think for themselves. Keep fighting the good fight, ladies. Our rights are important, don't let others take them from you.

Can you think of any books that were banned in your school or public library? What do you think of that decision?


Most Challenged Authors
Banned Books Week